30 days; no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no coffee

From March 15 through April 15th (which is actually 32 days), I did something drastic. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired so I made some significant diet changes to see what would happen. Not only did I do no grains, no dairy, no sugar, and no coffee, but I also drank copious amounts of water.  Anytime I could think of drinking water, I would (over 100oz per day). It wasn’t hard to do if I just carried my reusable water bottle around with me. After a while, my body was craving the water.

I’d also like to point out that the changes that I experienced were because of diet onlyI didn’t exercise while doing this 30 day challenge. Hopefully that exemplifies the power of a good diet.

 

The changes were pretty drastic and quick. Here’s a quick summary of things I noticed.

  • I no longer snore at night
  • I stopped twitching during sleep
  • Increased energy levels throughout the day
  • Woke up with more energy
  • Lost ~20 pounds
  • I don’t crave sugar anymore

The first two points were brought to my attention by my wife. I was driving her nuts with the snoring and twitching in my legs at night (is that what restless leg syndrome is?). Within a week or two, the twitching and snoring stopped completely.

Before I started this, 20 pounds heavier, I would drink coffee all day and by 9:00 be exhausted. Now, without the coffee I’m able to stay up even later than when I drank coffee all day. Coffee only energizes you to a point, then I think it has a negative impact on your alertness. Waking up with energy is also really nice. Before I started, I’d wake up groggy and go through zombie-like motions until I dumped a significant amount of caffeine in myself, then I’d become “normal”.

I think the greatest triumph of all is the death of my sugar addiction because I think that’s where a majority of my weight gain came from. Every single night, I’d crave sugar after dinner. And every single night I’d indulge that craving. The interesting thing is, once I cut sugar out of my diet for about a week, the cravings were gone. I was full after dinner and didn’t feel like eating sugar. I will admit for that first couple days, it was pretty hard. It was similar to a drug withdrawl. I wanted sugar so bad. I actually felt a hunger pang for it. If you can stay the course for 3 or 4 days and not indulge, it definitely goes down. After a week its pretty much gone completely.

When I talk about staying away from sugar I’m talking about refined sugar. Stuff you’d find in cookies, candy, and most other processed desserts. I limited my fruit intake to 1 apple per day. If I was really craving sugar, I’d have a cup of tea with a spoonful of honey in it. It really hits the spot without having to consume something really unhealthy for you.

I’m going to keep going to see how much weight I can lose, but now I’m going to be a little more relaxed. I feel like 30 days was enough time for me to form a habit out of eating this way. After a while, you actually crave these healthy foods and wonder how you ate so many processed foods.

Thoughts on my next 30 day challenge

As I wrap up my first 30 day challenge, which was a pretty easy one, it’s time to start thinking of what I’m going to do for my next one. I’ve already had some ideas bouncing around my head but I think it’s time to start putting them into practice.

I started thinking about doing something healthy for 30 days, but when I got thinking about it, I started wondering why would I only want to do something healthy for 30 days. Why not just make that change in my life?

So for my next 30 day challenge I want to spend at least 1 hour per day creating a jQuery plugin. In the beginning it will probably be mostly about reading how to make a plugin and planning it out. The rest of the time will be spent developing and testing.

I have a few ideas. It may not be the greatest plugin ever but it’ll be something I made. Top contenders right now are a plugin version of my simple jQuery sticky footer that I’ve written about in the past or an accordion that I developed while working at Binghamton University.

Either way it should be fun and give me an opportunity to give back to the coding community. I’ve used so many libraries and plugins that other people have written, it’ll feel good to give something back.